Football Game Notes: Colorado State vs. Air Force, Nov. 30




Nov. 25, 2013

FULL RELEASE IN PDF

THIS WEEK

Colorado State (6-6, 4-3) and Air Force (2-9, 0-7) meet on Saturday as the Rams look to bring the Ram-Falcon Trophy to Fort Collins for the first time since 2005. Saturday represents the final game at Hughes Stadium for 15 seniors and kickoff is set for 12 p.m. MT. Fans can watch the Rams try to secure their first winning regular-season since 2005 on ESPN3.com.

The Rams have six wins this season, their most this late in the regular season since 2005. The Rams need one more victory to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2008 when CSU defeated Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl. Air Force holds a 31-19-1 advantage in the series, which dates back to 1957.

WHERE TO FIND THE GAME: Saturday’s game between Colorado State and Air Force can be found across the world on ESPN3.com, with Paul Loeffler (play-by-play), and Peter Vaas (analyst) calling the action. CSU fans can listen to the game on the Colorado State Radio Network with new Voice of the Rams Gary Miller alongside Brian Roth (analyst) and Marty Cesario (sideline). On the airwaves, fans can listen to the game across the state on: KJAC-FM 105.5 ESPN, KREL-AM 1580 ESPN (Colorado Springs), KSIR-AM 1010 (Fort Morgan), KRFD-FM 94.5 (Sterling), and KNZZ-AM 1100 (Grand Junction).



NOTES IN 140 | #CSURamsNotes | #MWFB | #1TTD

#TEAM

  • CSU looks for its second-consecutive victory on Senior Day at Hughes Stadium after defeating UNM 24-20 in 2012
  • A victory Saturday would give the Rams their first winning regular season record since ‘05 and place them in a bowl for first time since ‘08
  • Since playing at Alabama (9/21), CSU is 5-3 and has avg. 498.1 total yds. & avg. 231.6 rushing yards, both top-20 in the nation in that span
  • Through 12 games the Rams are averaging 200.1 rushing yards, their most since 2002 (205.7)
  • CSU is on pace for the second-highest avg. yards/game in program history with 447.2. In 1996, CSU set the bar with an average of 458.9 yards/game
  • The Rams have recorded 500-plus yards of total offense in six games this season, the most games with at least 500 yards in a single season
  • On Nov. 16 at New Mexico, the Rams racked up 649 yards of total offense, the third-most total offensive yards in a single game in CSU history
  • CSU is averaging 33.4 points per game in 2013. The last time the Rams averaged 30-plus points per game was in 1997 (36.6)
  • The Rams have improved their scoring output by 58%, from 21.2 in 2012 to 33.4 this season
  • Under @CoachMcElwain the Rams are 8-2 when leading at halftime and 9-1 with the lead after 3 quarters
  • The Rams ran 109 offensive plays vs. @BroncoSportFB on Nov. 2, a program record and second-most in #MWFB history
  • CSU won three-consecutive road games (@ WYO, @ UH, @ UNM) in MW play for the first time since 2002 when the Rams rattled off five conference road wins
  • Through 12 games CSU has scored 401 points which ranks as the third-best scoring output in a single season, trailing the Rams of ‘02 (418) & ‘97 (477)
  • The Rams hung 50-plus points on UTEP (59), UW (52) and UNM (66) this year. This is the first CSU team to score 50 on three opponents in a single season
  • 66 points at New Mexico is tied for third-most in program history and the second-most vs. a conference opponent all-time
  • Prior to 59-point outburst vs. UTEP the Rams hadn’t scored 50-plus points since Oct. 8, 2003 at BYU, a span of 3,666 days.

#OFFENSE

  • OC Weston Richburg, cand. for @rimingtontrophy has graded above 90% in every game with 42 knockdowns, incl. 7 vs. Boise St.
  • OL Ty Sambrailo, a junior from Watsonville, Calif., has graded above 89% in every game and has recorded 30 knockdown blocks
  • SR RB Chris Nwoke ranks 10th all-time in CSU history with 2,406 rushing yards.
  • SO RB Kapri Bibbs has rushed for 1,493 yards, the most in #MWFB and fifth-most among all FBS running backs
  • With 1,493 rushing yards, Bibbs has the second-most single-season rushing yards at CSU & needs only 109 yards to secure the top spot
  • In a 2 game span (vs. Nev, at UNM), Bibbs ran the ball 68 times for 603 yds. (8.9 avg.) and scored 10 touchdowns
  • Bibbs is second nationally in rushing TDs (25) and total TDs (25). The 25 rushing TDs are the most by a CSU rusher in a single season
  • In only 12 games, Bibbs ranks fifth on the career rushing touchdown list at Colorado State with 25
  • Bibbs set a school record rushing for 312 yards on 30 carries vs. Nevada on Nov. 9; It was previously held by Tony Alford in 1989 (28-310)
  • Bibbs set a school record and tied a @mountainwest record scoring six rushing touchdowns at New Mexico on Nov. 16
  • Bibbs owns two of CSU’s three highest single-game rushing performances (312 vs. Nevada; 291 at New Mexico)
  • Bibbs broke off an 85-yd TD run vs. Nevada, the 3rd-longest scoring run in program history and longest play since ‘03 (BVP to Anderson - 86)
  • Bibbs became only the fourth player to score at least 3 TDs in five consecutive games, joining Barry Sanders, Paul Hewitt & Montee Ball
  • Bibbs now owns the school single-season points record, scoring 150 points through 12 games
  • With 150 points this season, Bibbs is outscoring 6 FBS teams (Miami (OH), FIU, UMASS, Purdue, Southern Miss & South Florida)
  • CSU’s offensive line starters have a combined 154 starts, which ranks tied for 11th in #NCAA according to @philsteele042
  • JR TE Kivon Cartwright became the first CSU player to score multiple receiving TDs in back-to-back games (UTEP & SJSU) since Paul Turner in 1995
  • SR TE Crockett Gillmore leads all MW TEs with 466 receiving yards, which also ranks 7th nationally among all FBS TEs
  • Against Boise State, JR QB Garrett Grayson threw for a career-high 397 yards, the 10th most in program history.
  • Grayson has now thrown 27 touchdowns in his career, a number that ranks ninth-most all-time at Colorado State.
  • Grayson’s 2,932 passing yards this season ranks as the fifth-most at CSU in a single season
  • Grayson has thrown for 4,420 yards in his career, 10th-most all-time in CSU history
  • With Bradlee Van Pelt in attendance, Grayson broke BVP’s single-game total offense record accumulating 445 total yards (397 pass, 48 rush) vs. BSU
  • Grayson threw 3 TDs in three straight games (UTEP, SJSU, WYO), a feat that a Rams QB hasn’t accomplished since Terry Nugent in 1982
  • FR WR Rashard Higgins had 10 receptions vs. BSU (11/2), setting a career high and tying a CSU freshman record
  • Higgins needs 3 more receptions to enter CSU’s single-season top-10. This would be the most single-season receptions by a freshman in program history
  • WR Charles Lovett has a catch in 19 straight games in which he has played. Lovett’s last game without a catch was Nov. 19, 2011 at TCU

#DEFENSE

  • Shaquil Barrett’s 20.5 TFL leads #MWFB and is tied for 2nd most in the #NCAA while his average of 1.7 per game is tied for 4th in the country
  • Barrett’s sack total of 12.0 is third-most in the country and ranks as the 3rd-most in a single season at Colorado State
  • Barrett’s 20.5 TFL ranks as the 3rd-best single season effort in program history
  • In his career Barrett has registered 18 sacks, the 7th-most in CSU history
  • Barrett’s 13-tackle, 3-sack, 2-FF performance vs. UTEP earned him Bronko Nagurski Defensive POW honors, only the 2nd Ram to earn this award
  • Confirmed through research dating back to 1970, Barrett is the first Ram to block two kicks in one game
  • S Trent Matthews has picked off four passes this season, tying for the most by a Ram since 2009 and tied for fourth-most in #NCAA
  • LB Max Morgan racked up 20 tackles at Utah State, the most by a CSU defender since Karl Ballard (20) vs. BYU on Oct. 15, 2005
  • Morgan’s 20 tackles at Utah State ties for 4th-most in a single game this season among all FBS defenders
  • After allowing opponents to convert 48 percent of their third-down tries last season, the #CSURams have reduced the rate to 37 percent this year
  • CSU’s defense held Utah State to only 43 passing yards, the fewest passing yards allowed since Oct. 31, 2003 vs. AFA (29)
  • CSU’s defense held @AlabamaFTBL to 66 yards rushing, the lowest total by the Crimson Tide since Oct. 9, 2010 (36)

#SPECIAL TEAMS

  • The Rams are averaging 14.7 yards per punt return compared with a 9.5 average in 2012
  • Opponents avg. just 9.6 yards/punt return after averaging 12.0 a year ago, and 21.0 yards/kickoff return compared to 23.5 last year.
  • .@LouGrozaAward candidate Jared Roberts averages 1.3 FGs/game, 2nd in #MWFB and 32nd nationally
  • At New Mexico Roberts connected on a 52-yard FG, a career long and the longest by a CSU kicker since Jason Smith’s 52-yarder in 2008
  • Roberts’ 86.2 field goal percentage makes him the most accurate kicker in CSU history with a minimum of 25 attempts (25-of-29)
  • LB Shaquil Barrett earned MW Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking two Cal Poly field goals (9/14)

OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION
Through 12 games the Rams have posted 401 points on the scoreboard, third-most in a single season by a CSU offense. This average of 33.4 per game ranks 43rd nationally, and is a total that has increased 58 percent compared to last season’s 21.2. The last season a Colorado State team averaged more than 30 points per game was in 1997. Over a 13-game span the 1997 Rams averaged 36.7 points per game. The Rams’ high-scoring average in 2013 is aided by three games scoring 50-plus points (59 vs. UTEP 9/28, 52 at Wyoming 10/19, 66 at New Mexico 11/16). This marks the first season Colorado State has scored 50-plus points in three games in a single season.

Prior to this season, the Rams hadn’t scored 50 points in a single game since Oct. 8, 2003 at BYU. Until the 59-point performance vs. UTEP, the Rams went 3,666 days between 50-point games. It only took 21 days for the Rams to put together their second 50-point game and for the 60-point explosion the Rams only waited 28 more days.

Rams offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin has the offense firing on all cylinders. After the 649-yard outburst on Nov. 16 at New Mexico – the third-most total offensive yards produced in a single game in program history – CSU has done something no other Rams team could accomplish, recording 500-plus yards of total offense in six games in a single season. This offense is on pace to have the second-highest total offense average per game all time (447.2). With only the regular season finale vs. Air Force left on the schedule, the Rams currently have racked up 5,367 yards of total offense, a number that ranks fifth in CSU annals. CSU only needs to compile 340 yards of total offense on Saturday to set a CSU single-season record, set in 2003 (5,706).

GROUND ATTACK
The Rams’ offensive line features four seniors (Biard, Gragert, Haynes and Richburg) and one junior (Sambrailo) who have accounted for 154 total starts, tied for 11th most in the nation. This group continues to show improvement and it shows in the stats. The Rams are 38th nationally having only given up 19 sacks, an average of 1.6 per game and the running game has increased just over 55 percent from last season until now. The Rams ground attack is averaging 200.1 yards per game, the highest total since 2002 when the green and gold scampered for 205.7 yards per game.

In crucial situations, the Rams will run behind senior center Weston Richburg, a candidate for the Rimington Trophy. The senior center has graded out above 90 percent in all 12 games and has recorded 42 knockdown blocks, including an impressive seven against Boise State on Nov. 2.

Redshirt-sophomore Kapri Bibbs has been a force in his first season in Fort Collins. Bibbs, a highly touted recruit from Plainfield, Ill., has only started six games for the Rams but has run the ball 238 times for 1,493 yards and 25 touchdowns in 12 games. The 25 rushing touchdowns are a CSU single-season record, and second-most nationally, and his 1,493 rushing yards are second-most in program history behind Cecil Sapp’s 1,601 yards in 2002.

AUTOMATIC
Rams JR K Jared Roberts, semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, has been a sensation in the kicking game since earning a scholarship before the 2012 season. The native of Littleton, Colo., earned a scholarship just a week prior to the season opener on Sept. 1, 2012 vs. Colorado and has been one of the most reliable kickers in program history. Roberts has made 25-29 (.862) career field goals, a percentage that is eighth in the nation among active kickers. Among CSU kickers with a minimum of 25 attempts, Roberts is the most accurate kicker, sitting atop the Rams record book, ahead of Jason Smith (.776, 2005-08).

On Nov. 16 at New Mexico, Roberts hit a career-long 52-yard field goal, which ranks as the 10th-longest field goal in program history. It is the longest kick since Jason Smith connected on a 52-yarder at Utah on Oct. 18, 2008. Also against the Lobos, Roberts was a perfect 9-for-9 on point-after attempts, tying for the second-most PATs in a single-game by a Mountain West kicker.

Roberts has only missed three field goals inside of 50 yards in his career. The junior kicker has made 52 consecutive PATs and earlier this season held the nation’s second-longest consecutive made field goal streak at 14, a CSU record. Roberts is second in the Mountain West, and 32nd nationally, averaging 1.3 field goals per game and is averaging 7.9 points per game, eighth-best in the conference.

PICK YOUR POISON
Entering the season tight ends Crockett Gillmore and Kivon Cartwright were regarded as the top players in the Mountain West at their position. Through 12 games they are demanding respect nationally.

Cartwright, who has hauled in 25 receptions for 411 yards, is 11th in the NCAA for receiving yards by a tight end, second in the Mountain West, and tied for 64th among all pass-catchers with six receiving touchdowns. Among tight ends, Cartwright’s six touchdowns are tied for third by a FBS tight end. Cartwright had back-to-back games with two touchdowns (UTEP 9/28 and SJSU 10/12). He is the first Rams player to record multiple receiving touchdowns in back-to-back games since Paul Turner in 1995. Turner had two touchdowns on Sept. 16 at Air Force and two touchdowns on Sept. 30 vs. BYU.

The last Rams receiver with six or more touchdowns in a season was Dion Morton in 2008. Morton registered 10 receiving touchdowns on 51 receptions in 13 games.

Gillmore, a native of Bushland, Texas, didn’t enter the season under-the-radar like Cartwright did. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound tight end was on the preseason watch list for the John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation’s best tight end. Gillmore is third on the team with 38 receptions but his 466 receiving yards are the most by a tight end in the Mountain West. Nationally it is a figure that ranks 7th among all FBS tight ends. Being the bigger of the two CSU tight ends, Gillmore finds himself in more blocking situations, an aspect of his game that has greatly improved and stats reflect that. CSU has only allowed 19 sacks on the year, which ranks 38th nationally.

A SPECIAL UNIT
Colorado State’s special teams units have improved dramatically in several statistical categories through 12 games. The punt return and punt coverage units are most notable. The Rams are averaging 12.7 yards per return, which is 8th nationally and second in the Mountain West, compared with a 9.5 average in 2012. WR Joe Hansley averaged 30.7 yards on three returns with a long of 74 yards in Week 1, while CB Tyree Simmons has averaged 11.5 yards on nine returns with a long of 30 yards (vs. Cal Poly, 9/14). Thomas Coffman received midseason recognition for his production on kickoff returns. Coffman, who was named to Phil Steele’s All-Mountain West third team, averages 24.3 yards per return which is third in the conference and 34th in the NCAA. As a team, the Rams average 25.0 per kickoff return (first in MW, 12th in NCAA) and only allow their opponents to average 21.0 per return. Against Boise State on Nov. 2, Donnell Alexander returned his first kickoff of the season 61 yards before being brought down. The return was only Alexander’s fourth of his career.

The Rams’ punt coverage unit is also much improved. Opponents are averaging just 9.6 yards per punt return after averaging 12.0 a year ago.

FIRST-TIME ACTION
In 2013, Colorado State has had 24 players make their collegiate debut.
True Freshmen: DL Austin Berk, LB Deonte Clyburn, WR Rashard Higgins, DL Josh Lovingood, S Jake Schlager, DB Tyree Simmons and RB Eric Williams
Redshirt Freshmen: DB Josh Bowman, P Hayden Hunt, LB Danny Nwosu, LB Bryan Ohene, WR Robert Ruiz, DL Johnny Schupp WR Jordon Vaden and OL Fred Zerblis
Sophomore: DL Terry Jackson and DL LaRyan King
Redshirt Sophomore: RB Kapri Bibbs, OL Sam Carlson, WR C.J. Glenn, RB Davon Riddick, DL Justin Hansen and WR Willie Udofia
Junior: DL Martavius Foster

ALL-AMERICAN
Senior LB Shaquil Barrett has the second-most tackles for loss (20.5) and third-most sacks (12.0) in NCAA FBS. A candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Award, Barrett was named to Phil Steele’s midseason All-America third team and was the Mountain West’s only defensive representative. Barrett has amassed 20.5 tackles for loss for the Rams, which ranks first in the Mountain West and second nationally. He surpassed his previous single-season best effort of 7.5 TFL from 2012 in just four games. Barrett now has 32.5 tackles for loss in 36 career games for the Rams.

The senior linebacker’s 12.0 sacks are third-most nationally and represent the third-best single-season effort in program history. Barrett entered 2013 with more tackles in the last two seasons than any returning player in the Mountain West. The 2012 honorable mention All-Mountain West selection made 166 tackles in the 2011 and ’12 seasons combined, as has scored three touchdowns in his two-plus seasons as a Ram after transfering from Nebraska-Omaha.

In the home-opener against Cal Poly (9/14), Barrett blocked two Mustangs field goals to earn Special Teams Player of the Week by the Mountain West. Confirmed through research dating back to 1970, the senior linebacker is the first Ram to block two kicks in one game. In a game at Falcon Stadium in 1990, Air Force’s Carlton McDonald blocked two CSU punts and a PAT. Last weekend at Utah State, Barrett blocked his third kick of the season, a 33-yard attempt late in the fourth quarter.

In his career, Barrett has recorded 18.0 sacks, which ties for the seventh-most sacks in a career by a CSU defensive player. 

TACKLES FOR LOSS
Shaquil Barrett is no stranger to opponent’s backfields. The senior linebacker has racked up 20.5 tackles for loss through 12 games, a total that is second in the NCAA and the third-most in Colorado State history. The Rams record for single-season tackles for loss is 23.5 set by Mike Bell in 1977 and again in ‘78.

BLOCK PARTY
After Shaquil Barrett’s two-block kick performance at home versus Cal Poly, CSU became one of 10 teams nationally to block two or more kicks in a single game in 2013. On the year, the Rams have blocked four kicks (Barrett’s two field goals vs. Cal Poly, Danny Nwosu’s punt block vs. Tulsa and Barrett’s blocked field goal at Utah State), which ranks tied for 6th nationally.

WEEKLY HONORS
Week 1 vs. Colorado - Sophomore WR/PR Joe Hansley, Punt Returner co-Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Awards
Week 3 vs. Cal Poly - Senior LB Shaquil Barrett, MW Special Teams Player of the Week; Senior TE Crockett Gillmore, Tight End co-Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Awards
Week 4 at Alabama - Junior K Jared Roberts, Kicker co-Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Awards
Week 5 vs. UTEP - Senior LB Shaquil Barrett, Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week, CFPA National Defensive Performer of the Week, MW Defensive Player of the Week, National Football Foundation Colorado Chapter Player of the Week; Sophomore RB Kapri Bibbs, College Football Performance Awards honorable mention Running Back of the Week; Junior TE Kivon Cartwright, John Mackey Tight End of the Week; Freshman WR Rashard Higgins, College Football Performance Awards honorable mention Wide Receiver of the Week, Earl Campbell Tyler Rose honorable mention
Week 6 vs. SJSU - Junior TE Kivon Cartwright, CFPA Tight End Performer of the Week honorable mention; Senior TE Crockett Gillmore, CFPA Tight end Performer of the Week honorable mention
Week 7 at Wyoming - Sophomore RB Kapri Bibbs Helmet Sticker from ESPN’s Mark May; College Football Performance Awards Running Back Performer of the Week honorable mention; National Football Foundation Colorado Chapter Player of the Week.
Week 8 at Hawai’i - Junior LB Max Morgan College Football Performance Awards Linebacker Performer of the Week honorable mention; National Football Foundation Colorado Chapter Player of the Week.
Week 9 vs. Boise State - RS-Sophomore RB Donnell Alexander College Football Performance Awards Kickoff Returner Performer of the Week.
Week 10 vs. Nevada - RS-Sophomore RB Kapri Bibbs Walter Camp Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week; MW Offensive Player of the Week; Helmet Sticker from ESPN’s Lou Holtz; CFPA Running Back Performer of the Week National Football Foundation - Colorado Chapter Player of the Week; CBSSports.com Offensive Player of the Week; SEVEN Magazine Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl Mountain West Player of the Week. Junior K Jared Roberts MW Special Teams Player of the Week; CFPA  Placekicker of the Week honorable mention. Freshman P Hayden Hunt CFPA Punter of the Week honorable mention.
Week 11 at New Mexico - RS-Sophomore RB Kapri Bibbs Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week; CFPA Running Back Performer of the Week; National Football Foundation Colorado Chapter Player of the Week; SEVEN Magazine Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl Mountain West Player of the Week; Capital One Cup Impact Performance of the Week. Senior TE Crockett Gillmore CFPA Tight End Performer of the Week.

WEEKLY CAPTAINS
Week 1 vs. Colorado - LB Shaquil Barrett, TE Kivon Cartwright, DB Trent Matthews and OL Weston Richburg
Week 2 at Tulsa - OL Jared Biard, DB Bernard Blake, LB Aaron Davis and TE Crockett Gillmore
Week 3 vs. Cal Poly - DL Eli Edwards, WR Austin Gray, OL Brandon Haynes and LB Max Morgan
Week 4 at Alabama - DB Shaq Bell, LS Tanner Hedstrom, RB Chris Nwoke and DL Curtis Wilson
Week 5 vs. UTEP - OL Jordan Gragert, TE Jake Levin, DB Kevin Pierre-Louis and K Jared Roberts
Week 6 vs. SJSU - LB Nu’uvali Fa’apito, QB Garrett Grayson, LB Cory James, OL Ty Sambrailo
Week 7 at Wyoming - LB Ken Hulbert, WR Charles Lovett, TE Joe McKay, LB Steven Michel
Week 8 at Hawai’i - LB Shaquil Barrett, TE Kivon Cartwright, DB Trent Matthews, OL Weston Richburg
Week 9 vs. Boise State - OL Jared Biard, LB Aaron Davis, TE Crockett Gillmore, LB Max Morgan
Week 10 vs. Nevada - DB Shaq Bell, DL Eli Edwards, WR Austin Gray, OL Brandon Haynes
Week 11 at New Mexico - DB Bernard Blake, WR Joe Hansley, RB Chris Nwoke, DL Curtis Wilson
Week 12 at Utah State - HB Joe Brown, WB Garrett Grayson, LB Cory James, K Jared Roberts

GETTING OFF THE FIELD
In the past, Colorado State has struggled defensively getting off the field when its opponent faced a third-down. In 2012, opponents converted 48-percent of the time on third down but this season opponent conversions are down to 38 percent on pace to be the lowest percentage allowed by CSU since 2002 (35%). Against the No. 1 team in the nation, Alabama only converted two third downs out of 10 attempts. At Hawai’i (10/26), the Rainbow Warriors were only able to convert two of 17 third-down conversions. The 37 percent ranks third in the Mountain West.

FIRST TIME IS A CHARM
This season CSU has had two pass catchers score touchdowns on their first career catch. At Tulsa (9/8), TE Joe McKay caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Garrett Grayson and Oct. 19 at Wyoming Austin Gray, who spent his first two seasons with the green and gold at safety, caught a 22-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

SEPTEMBER 21st
On Sept. 21 Colorado State traveled south to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to face the nation’s top team in Alabama. Head Coach Jim McElwain, who came to Fort Collins from Alabama where he was the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator, has said since that 31-6 defeat that it was a learning experience. McElwain has gone on record saying it gave his team a chance to see how they stack up against the best. It was a trip that sparked the Rams’ offensive attack. Since that Saturday, the Rams are 5-3 and one win from becoming bowl eligible since 2008.

RECORD WATCH

Redshirt-sophomore running back Kapri Bibbs has already cemented his name in the Colorado State record book after his Nov. 16 performance at New Mexico, but Bibbs still has a few records within reach.

COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING YARDS: In 2002 Cecil Sapp set the school record for most yards in a single-season with 1,601 yards. Bibbs needs to rush for 109 yards in the season-finale to set the CSU record for rushing yards in a single season. Bibbs currently sits in second place in the Rams record book with 1,493 rushing yards.
COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING ATTEMPTS: Bibbs has rushed the ball 238 times through 12 games in 2013 which ranks as the ninth-most in program history. The redshirt-sophomore is on pace to finish the regular season with 257 carries, which would rank eighth all time.
MOUNTAIN WEST SINGLE-SEASON POINTS: Bibbs holds the CSU record scoring 150 points through 11 games in 2013 but entering Saturday he sits 21 points from setting the Mountain West single-season record. The record is currently held by Luke Staley from BYU in 2001.
MOUNTAIN WEST SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING YARDS: Bibbs needs to rush for 390 more yards to set the conference single-season rushing record currently held by Stefphon Jefferson from Nevada who rushed for 1,883 yards in 2012.

Redshirt-junior quarterback Garrett Grayson has shown consistent improvement throughout 2013 and his recent stats reflects the experience he has gained over his 20 career starts.

COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON PASSING YARDS: Grayson has thrown for a career-best 2,932 yards, which ranks as the fifth-most in a single season at Colorado State. The junior quarterback is on pace to finish as the Rams’ first 3,000-yard passer since Justin Holland in 2005. He would only be the fourth 3,000-yard passer in CSU single-season history.
COLORADO STATE CAREER PASSING YARDS: Grayson has played in 22 games for the green and gold and in those games the Vancouver, Wash., native has thrown for 4,420 yards. This sneaks inside the top-10 for career passing yards. Scooter Molander, who played for the Rams from 1987-88, holds the No. 9 spot throwing for 5,400 yards.
COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON COMPLETIONS: Grayson, who ranks 27 nationally averaging 20 completions per game, has completed 240 passes through 12 games this season. This ranks as the third-most in a single season at CSU. Grayson has a chance to finish with the second most completions in a season. Terry Nugent holds the Rams record completing 275 passes in 1983.
COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON ATTEMPTS: Grayson has attempted 394 attempts in 2013, ranking as the third-most single-season attempts at CSU. Terry Nugent holds the top spot, throwing 433 passes in 1983. With six pass attempts vs. Air Force, Grayson will become the first CSU quarterback to attempt at least 400 passes since Scooter Molander (407) in 1987.
COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON PASSING TOUCHDOWNS: At New Mexico on Nov. 16, Grayson threw his 18th touchdown of the season which ties for the 10th-most in a single season. Justin Holland holds the single-season record tossing 23 touchdowns in 2005.
COLORADO STATE CAREER PASSING TOUCHDOWNS: Through 22 collegiate appearances, Grayson has thrown 27 touchdowns, the ninth-most all-time at CSU. Grayson needs to throw 10 more touchdowns to secure eighth place.

Junior kicker Jared Roberts walked-on at Colorado State after receiving multiple DII scholarships out of high school and in only a year-and-a-half he became the most accurate kicker in school history.

COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON FIELD GOALS: The Littleton, Colo., native has put 16-of-19 field goals between the uprights in 2013, a number which ties for fourth in a single season. The last kicker to make more field goals was Jeff Babcock in 2002 (24).
COLORADO STATE CAREER FIELD GOALS: Roberts has connected on 25 field goals in his short career, which ranks just outside the top-10 all-time at Colorado State. With one more made field goal, Roberts will tie for 10th-most all time.
COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON POINTS: After 12 games Roberts has connected on 16-of-19 field goals and is a perfect 47-for-47 on PATs, giving him 95 points. The 95 single-season points ranks as the seventh-most all time. It is also the second-most single-season points among all CSU kickers, trailing only Jeff Babcock who scored 118 points in 2002.

Freshman wide receiver Rashard Higgins has started all 12 games in 2013 and he has made an immediate impact for the Colorado State receiving corps.

COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON RECEPTIONS: Higgins has hauled in 57 receptions in his first 12 collegiate games and he just needs two more catches to tie Harper LeBel for 10th-most single-season receptions. LeBel caught 59 passes in 1983.
COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON RECEPTIONS - FROSH.: The Mesquite, Texas native has already set a Colorado State freshman record with 57 receptions. Earlier this year, Higgins also tied the school’s freshman single-game record with 10 receptions vs. Boise State on Nov. 2.

THE MATCHUP

RAMS vs. FALCONS

All-time, overall: 19-31-1
All-time, in USAFA: 10-15-1
All-time, in Fort Collins: 8-13-0
First official meeting: Nov. 30, 1957 in Denver: CSU won 20-7
Last meeting: Sept. 29, 2012 in USAFA: Air Force won 42-21
Last meeting in Fort Collins: Nov. 26, 2011: Air Force won 45-21
 
Series streaks: Air Force has won the past seven meetings.
 
COACHES CAPSULES: CSU — Jim McElwain: 10-14, second year overall as head coach
    AFA — Troy Calhoun: 49-40, seventh year as head coach
Head-to-head: Calhoun leads 1-0 | Against opponent: McElwain 0-1 vs. Air Force; Calhoun 6-0 vs. CSU

  • Calhoun has lifted the Falcon football program to unprecedented heights within the Mountain West Conference. Calhoun’s six teams are a combined 29-25 in the Mountain West Conference and 49-40 overall. Air Force had posted three straight losing seasons from 2004-2006 before his arrival. His 29 wins in the MWC are the most in school history in a six-year span. Calhoun’s conference winning percentage of .617 makes him the only Air Force coach in any MWC sport at the Academy to have coached at least five years and have an overall winning record in conference play.
  • With Calhoun at the helm, the Falcons have played their best football in the second half of the season. Air Force is 24-17 under Calhoun during the last six games of the regular season, including a 5-1 mark in 2007 which is the second-best in school history. Prior to his arrival, Air Force was 12-24 during the final six regular season games from 2001-2006.

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS

  • Air Force’s Kale Pearson (QB) and Colorado State’s Blake Jones (TE) both attended Union High School in Tulsa, Okla.
  • Rams offensive lineman Brandon Haynes and Falcons defensive lineman David Harris both graduated from high schools in Cedar Hill, Texas.
  • Blue Springs, Mo., is represented by the Rams’ Donnell Alexander and the Falcons Drew Kerber, who both went to the same high school.

NOTABLE PERFORMERS VS. AIR FORCE

  • In 2012, TEs Kivon Cartwright and Crockett Gillmore combined for 6 receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown.
  • Last season LB Max Morgan registered 8 tackles, 7 of which were solo stops.
  • In 2011, Chris Nwoke rushed for a career-best 269 yards and 2 touchdowns, which was the Hughes Stadium record until this season when Kapri Bibbs rushed for 312 yards vs. Nevada.

‘ONE TOWN, ONE TEAM, ONE DREAM’
During “Ram U,” Colorado State’s offseasons strength and conditioning program, senior linebacker Shaquil Barrett came up with the 2013-14 team slogan, “One Town, One Team, One Dream.” Often referenced on social media with the hashtag #1TTD, it is a slogan the Rams and the community have embraced.

“‘One Town, One Team, One Dream.’ So when you see #1TTD, that’s their affirmation. I think we are getting to the understanding that each one of us is responsible and as a team we are responsible for this town. We are responsible for this team, and each one of us has to carry that dream. That really hit me that, you know what, we’re really heading in the right direction.”
  - Head Coach Jim McElwain

PORTER JOINS STAFF
On July 31st Coach McElwain announced the addition of former CSU great and all-pro NFL linebacker Joey Porter as an undergraduate student assistant football coach at his alma mater.

“This is another example of reaching back into our past to help build our future at Colorado State,” said McElwain. “It’s an opportunity for him to complete his degree while he gains valuable experience with our coaching staff. We are proud to welcome one of the great Rams back to our campus, just as we welcome all of our former players to remain a part of the Rams football family.”

Porter, who has 18 credits to complete before earning his degree, was as excited as McElwain.

“It feels great; I am definitely excited about the opportunity, excited that Coach Mac gave me the opportunity to come back and be a part of the CSU family. It’s not like I never was when I left, but it’s always good to come back and be here in Fort Collins.

Porter wants to get into coaching one day and CSU is a great place to get that start. The Super Bowl champion linebacker has a great deal of knowledge that he can pass on to current CSU athletes and he is determined to make them, not only better football players, but better young men.

MR. RELIABLE
Senior center Weston Richburg is not only one of the most decorated Rams on the roster, he is also the most experienced. The 6-4, 300-pounder from Bushland, Texas, has started all 48 games of his career. A preseason candidate for the Rimington Trophy, Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award for the second year in a row, Richburg is one of just three centers in the nation with 45 or more career starts, joining Utah State’s Tyler Larsen (49) and Arkansas’ Travis Swanson (49). He is tied for 14th in the nation among all players in career starts entering 2013.

YOUTH MOVEMENT
In Colorado State’s depth chart for the 2013 campaign, the Rams have 32 underclassmen (15 frosh. & 17 soph.)  on their two-deep. Nationally, 32 underclassmen ranks second.

FIVE RAMS ARE CSU GRADUATES
Guard Jordan Gragert, long-snapper Tanner Hedstrom, tight end Joe McKay, running back Chris Nwoke and center Weston Richburg are playing their final season for the Rams in 2013 after having graduated with bachelor’s degrees this past spring or summer. Richburg (animal science) graduated after summer classes, while Gragert (sociology), Hedstrom (health & exercise science), McKay (liberal arts) and Nwoke (business administration) received their degrees in May.

COLORADO FLOOD RECOGNITION
The Colorado State football team will continue to wear a helmet decal throughout the season symbolizing the floods with the state flag displayed within a raindrop, in recognition of flood victims as well as rescue and recovery personnel. Additionally, McElwain, his assistant coaches and support staff will also be wearing the decal on their clothing. The Rams first wore the decal on Sept. 21 at Alabama.

“This is no doubt a tremendous opportunity and a great challenge for our football program to play Alabama,” he said.  “But at the same time, as The Colorado State University, it is not the most important thing we carry in our hearts.  We have had thousands of people across our state affected by the recent floods.  We are very thankful for everyone involved in rescue and recovery efforts now taking place to assist those people affected by the flooding.  We want to be sure that every individual affected knows we carry them in our heart into this game. We are proud to be The Colorado State University and carry the flag with us.”

NEW RADIO FLAGSHIP FOR RAMS IN 2013
The Colorado State Rams will have a new radio home in 2013 for football and men’s and women’s basketball, on 105.5 FM ESPN. A new play-by-play voice also joins the team this year, with veteran Denver television sportscaster Gary Miller behind the microphone, joined by long-time radio team member Brian Roth on color commentary. Roth is in his 15th year as part of the CSU football broadcast team, including the last three years in the play-by-play seat. In addition to its 105.5 flagship, the Rams Radio Network includes KREL 1580 AM ESPN in Colorado Springs and Pueblo; KSIR 1100 AM in Fort Morgan; KRFD 94.5 FM in Sterling and KNZZ 1100 AM in Grand Junction.

MENTAL CONDITIONING
Colorado State football is among a handful of programs to adopt a mental conditioning program. It is a program that McElwain became familiar with at Alabama and one that he thought would be criticial in bringing success to Fort Collins. Immediately, McElwain hired Dr. Lowell Wightman after meeting during a player academic meeting where the two discovered they shared a belief that shaping and changing a team culture requires the brain and body working together.

During the summer players go through a mental conditioning program and meet with top experts in this field. For the second consecutive year, McElwain invited Trevor Moawad, Vice President of Mindset Programs from Athlete’s Performance, to come speak to his team. McElwain and Moawad met at Alabama and have since become friends.

FREE TUITION
On Saturday, Aug. 24, the Colorado State athletic department hosted its first annual RAMbunctious Pep Rally. This event was designed to get incoming freshmen at CSU excited about athletic events as part of Ram Welcome activities. During the event Andrew Schneeweis made a half court shot for a year’s worth of tuition, paid for by head coaches Jim McElwain, Larry Eustachy (men’s basketball), Tom Hilbert (volleyball), and Ryun Williams (women’s basketball). The four had come up with the plan just days before the event.

“We’re really excited we could be a part of something like that. Our students are such a big part of what we do, and we appreciate their support of our programs. To have all those new students come out and show their excitement last night was outstanding, and we as coaches wanted to do something to show our appreciation,” McElwain said. “Andrew Showed he has what it takes to operate under pressure. We talk to our student-athletes all the time about rising to the occasion and responding in pressure situations, and what Andrew did last night speaks volumes about that very thing. It was incredible to see that shot go in.”

ON SCHOLARSHIP
In 2012, just nine days before the Rocky Mountain Showdown, McElwain presented quarterback M.J. McPeek, running back Mark Woodbury and kicker Jared Roberts with scholarships. Their hard work in fall camp finally paid off.

This year, two more student-athletes were rewarded with scholarships after strong showings in fall camp. Tight End Joe McKay, a redshirt senior from Akron, Colo., and linebacker Ken Hulbert, a product of Highlands Ranch, Colo., Joe McKay, a redshirt senior first received the honor on Aug. 25.

McKay has played in 23 games for the Rams since 2011 and is a major contributer on special teams. In his career, McKay has registered seven tackles, two forced fumbles and a blocked punt.

Hulbert is another contributor on special teams. The junior linebacker has recorded two tackles in eight career games.

“These are two guys who have really earned it. They have worked their tails off and not only do we appreciate what they do, but our team recognizes these were two very deserving guys, as were other guys. It goes to show we do reward those guys who come here and work hard and earn it. There is a strong tradition here of walk-ons playing a strong role in the team’s success and earning scholarships. We really value the hard work and commitment those walk-on players show, and recognize their importance to our team,” McElwain said.

PACKED HOUSE
On Sept. 21 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the Crimson Tide’s home-opener vs. the Rams was sold out. With a capacity of 101,821, it marked the largest crowd a Colorado State team has ever played in front of.

HONOR ROLL
After winning four games in 2012, the most since 2008, expectations in 2013 are high. Fortunately, the Rams have players capable of producing a winning season and six of them earned a spot on preseason watch lists for national awards.

THE NEWEST RAM
Head Coach Jim McElwain announced on Aug. 20 the addition of Jack Miller, a nine-year old from Louisville, Colo., who has been battling brain tumors for the past six years. Miller, who connected with the Rams through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, was given his own jersey with his name on the back and a “One Town, One Team, One Dream” wristband.

Miller, who met the team prior to the end of fall camp, was with the team before, during and after the Rocky Mountain Showdown, and Cal Poly. Miller is the first to greet the Rams as they get off the bus and the first Ram onto the field. Hanging inside of the Rams’ locker room is a framed No. 1 jersey, the number given to Jack Miller before the season.

RAMS IN THE NFL
Colorado State has manufactured five current players playing in the National Football League. Joel Dreessen (Denver Broncos), Mike Brisiel (Oakland Raiders), Kory Sperry (Arizona Cardinals), Eric Pears (Buffalo Bills) and Shelley Smith (St. Louis Rams).

Jim McElwain RADIO SHOW
Due to Thanksgiving, the Coors Light Jim McElwain Coach’s Show will be hosted on Tuesday, Nov 26 at C.B. & Potts Restaurant and Brewery in Fort Collins at 6:30 p.m. For fans who can’t make it in-person, the show will air on the new home of the CSU Rams Radio Network, FM 105.5 ESPN, as well as across the state on the network affiliates.

RAMS REPORT WITH @CoachMcElwain
The Rams Report with Coach McElwain airs every Thursday on Root Sports at 6 p.m. MT. Fans are encouraged to tune in and listen to Head Coach Jim McElwain recap the previous game and preview Colorado State’s upcoming opponent. CSU fans also get a volleyball update from Tom Hilbert, head coach of the nationally ranked women’s volleyball team.

WATCH PARTIES
The Colorado State athletics department will host official game-watch parties for all of the Rams’ road football games in 2013. Taps Sports Bar & Grill will serve as the home for the Rams’ watch parties, giving fans the chance to gather to watch their team play. Taps is located at 165 E. Boardwalk Drive in Fort Collins. While they gather to watch the games, fans also contribute to the well-being of CSU   student-athletes, as 10 percent of each bill goes back to the CSU Athletics general scholarship fund.


 


 

 

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